Police say nearly 1,000 packets were thrown out during chase

Last updated: March 04. 2014 11:12PM - 3486 Views
By - elewis@civitasmedia.com

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PLAINS TWP. — A Harrisburg man tossed nearly 1,000 heroin packets from a vehicle during a pursuit by state police at Wyoming along the North Cross Valley Expressway late Monday afternoon.

State police said they recovered 977 heroin packets from the highway’s northbound lane between Wilkes-Barre Township and the Luzerne exit, where the pursuit ended, and 41 heroin packets inside the vehicle allegedly driven by Tasha C. McMurray, 26, of Passaic, N.J.

Authorities chased the vehicle after troopers had a motel room at the Melody Motel on Route 115 under surveillance just after 4:30 p.m.

Troopers allegedly spotted Rashawn Collier, 34, get out of a Subaru Outback and walk toward the motel room. Collier noticed he was being watched and went back to the car. McMurray drove away and police pursued in a chase with speeds in excess of 95 mph, according to the criminal complaints.

During the pursuit, Collier discarded heroin packets out the passenger side window, the complaints say.

State police said McMurray was forced to stop near the Cross Valley’s Exit 6. Three cruisers were damaged during the pursuit, state police said.

Troopers walked along the berm of the highway to retrieve the discarded heroin packets.

The street value of the seized heroin is $20,560, state police said.

Collier was charged with 977 counts each of tampering with evidence and scattering rubbish, and one count each of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, unlawful use of a communication facility, reckless endangerment and causing and risking a catastrophe.

McMurray was charged with three counts each of aggravated assault upon a law enforcement officer, simple assault and reckless endangerment, and one count each of criminal conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and numerous traffic violations.

Collier and McMurray were arraigned by District Judge Ronald Swank in Wright Township and were jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $500,000 bail each. Preliminary hearings are scheduled on March 11 before District Judge Diana Malast in Plains Township.

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